Do Words Hurt?

So I recently watched a speaker, it was probably on FB as that is my main source of media which is embarrassing to even admit.  Anyway this speaker was talking about how we are creating an over sensitive generation because we are teaching them that words hurt.  And that we need to teach our kids that words only hurt if we allow them to hurt us.

I’m curios to know what anyone’s opinion is on this issue.  I’m not sure where my opinion lies at this point.  While I’m all about empowerment I’m not sure this is a valid argument.  It sounds great!  It goes right along with you can’t control what happens to you, you can only control your reaction to it.  That’s a concept I continually discuss with my kids.  But let’s face it….Words do hurt.  I would love to be in a magical world of sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.  I would still be in 1986 eating a chick-o-stick at my local public pool.  But Words hurt!  How can I tell my children that they don’t when I have been so deeply hurt by the words of others.

So it begs the question.. have I too fallen victim to allowing these words to hurt me?  I think the difference is it’s not just the words that are hurtful.  It’s the body language. It’s the social media snubbing.  It’s the whole concept of treating people poorly that plagues our social circles as adults and playgrounds as kids.  It does have an impact on others.  A person is not weak because they are hurt by how they are treated..  If that were the case everyone could be a complete asshole and be completely unaccountable for how it makes others feel.  Is that the direction we want to go?  Because if I’m telling my child (or my inner child) that words do not hurt, it’s your fault for letting them hurt you.  Aren’t I also giving permission for them to use unkind language and throwing the accountability of its interpretation on the recipient of the unkind language?

What’s funny is when I first watched it… I said to myself YES! EXACTLY!  You have the power of not letting words hurt you!  But after thinking about it, even as a woman in my 40’s…. words hurt.  They cut me deeply on a daily basis.  Am I someone who is oversensitive?  I don’t think so, but maybe I am.  What I do think is that we need to coach our kids and ourselves to communicate in a courageously positive way.  So when they are blasted with unkind words they have the power to hear it, but not wager their self-worth upon it.  And more importantly they need to understand that the words they say can be extremely hurtful.  And we must treat each other with kindness and grace.

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